Atal Bihari Vajpayee's Post Election Speech
May 13, 2004
Elections to the 14th Lok Sabha are over. The voters have given their verdict. I accept the verdict. This evening, I submitted my resignation to Respected Rashtrapatiji.
India is the world’s largest democracy. It is always with the will of the people that governments have been formed – and changed. This power of democracy is a matter of pride for our country, something which we must always cherish, preserve and further strengthen.
I thank all of you sincerely for giving me an opportunity to serve the nation as Prime Minister since March 1998. Your goodwill and affection were my greatest asset. Your support and trust were my greatest source of strength.
When you gave us the mandate, the nation was faced with the challenge of stability, good governance and development. It is for you – and history – to judge what we achieved during this period.
I do, however, have the satisfaction that our country is now stronger and more prosperous than when you placed the reigns of office in my hands. India’s strides in social and economic development during the past few years have announced her capability as well as resolve to emerge as a Developed Nation soon. My party and alliance may have lost, but India has won.
Friends, ours is a multi-religious, multi-lingual and multi-ethnic nation. However, in spite of her immense diversities, our national culture has woven an unbreakable thread of unity since antiquity. We tried to replicate this ethos of unity in diversity in running our coalition government. We strengthened Indian democracy by demonstrating that coalition governance can be stable, and also successfully deal with the challenges before the nation.
We reinforced the bonds of national unity and social solidarity. We laid emphasis on resolving contentious issues through dialogue, in an atmosphere of peace and mutual goodwill.
Today, I especially thank the people of Jammu & Kashmir for once again reposing their faith in democracy and for giving a firm rebuff to the forces of militancy. India has shown its resolve and capability to overcome the challenge of cross-border terrorism. India has also embarked on a historic peace process with our neighbour. It will remain my lifelong wish to see that we herald a new chapter of peace, cooperation and friendship in South Asia, with the People’s Republic of China and with other nations in the world.
Dear Countrymen, we have given up office, but not our responsibility to serve the nation. We have lost an election, but not our determination. Victory and defeat are a part of life, which are to be viewed with equanimity.
We will always extend our hand of cooperation to the new government in all its endeavours that are in the interest of the nation and the people.
I thank you again for all your warm support.